Compugen discovers CGEN-15001 protein

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Compugen discovers CGEN-15001 protein

Postby MSUK » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:02 am

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Compugen discovers CGEN-15001 protein for treatment of autoimmune disorders

Compugen Ltd. announced today the discovery and
experimental validation of CGEN-15001 for the treatment of autoimmune
disorders. CGEN-15001 is the extracellular region of a previously
unknown membrane protein in the B7/CD28 family. The existence and
potential utility of the newly discovered parent protein from which
CGEN-15001 is derived was predicted in silico utilizing Compugen’s LEADS Platform and other proprietary algorithms.

Autoimmune diseases develop when defects in the immune system lead the
body to attack its own cells, tissues, and organs and include more than
80 chronic, and often disabling, illnesses. Among the most common
autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus
erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and type
1 diabetes. Collectively, autoimmune diseases are among the most
prevalent diseases, affecting an estimated 25 million people in the U.S.

CGEN-15001 is a novel soluble recombinant fusion protein corresponding
to the extracellular region of the Compugen discovered parent protein.
The discovery of the parent protein, which is a membrane protein, was
accomplished through the incorporation in Compugen’s LEADS Platform of
additional algorithms specifically designed to predict novel members of
the B7/CD28 family of co-stimulatory proteins. This approach relied on
Compugen’s proprietary understandings and modeling of genomic structure,
gene expression, protein structural domains, and cellular localization.
Compugen has filed for patent coverage on both the parent protein, which
potentially has other medical uses such as a target for antibody
therapeutics, and CGEN-15001.

The in vivo validation of CGEN-15001 utilized a mouse model of
multiple sclerosis, relapsing-remitting experimental autoimmune
encephalomyelitis (R-EAE). In this model, administration of CGEN-15001
resulted in potent amelioration of the disease state. These results
indicate that CGEN-15001 could have therapeutic utility for the
treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, such as
rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel
disease, and type 1 diabetes. Earlier in vitro studies validated
the predicted functional activity of CGEN-15001 as a new member of the
B7/CD28 family proteins.

Professor Stephen Miller from Northwestern University, a leading
scientist in this field who supervised the studies, stated, “Our studies
have indicated robust disease suppressing activity for CGEN-15001 in the
SJL R-EAE model, a recognized mouse model for multiple sclerosis. These
studies have also demonstrated that CGEN-15001 has the unique ability
to inhibit proliferation, differentiation, and cytokine production of
pro-inflammatory Th1 and Th17 responses while at the same time sparing
or actually promoting regulatory Th2-derived cytokines. As far as I am
aware, this potentially very beneficial pattern of inhibiting Th1/Th17
while promoting Th2 responses is unique among the reagents targeting the
B7 family of co-stimulatory molecules that have been published to date.”

Compugen’s VP R&D, Dr. Zurit Levine stated, “We are extremely pleased by
this further demonstration of the unique discovery capability that has
been created at Compugen. In view of its recognized potential in the
largely unmet and critical field of immune regulation, the B7/CD28
co-stimulation protein family has been an area of extensive research for
a number of years. In our opinion, in addition to providing Compugen
with a very attractive product candidate, the predictive discovery and
experimental validation of a previously unknown member of this
extensively researched protein family represents a major milestone in
the transition from experimentally based therapeutic discovery to in
silico prediction and selection.”

Source: Compugen Ltd. (03/02/10)
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